So this is slightly off topic or you know, maybe not. I’ve been slowly making my way through the last few weeks and getting my bearings again after the 1st yahrzeit of my mother’s passing and my dad’s two days spent in the hospital. So I’ve been reading and though nothing review worthy has come up, shades of things I want to express have been bubbling up in other topics. Last week or so I’ve been plowing through a history of the Romanovs written incidentally by a Jewish author, Simon Sebag Montefiore. I didn’t find this authorship significant until he began outlining how virulently anti-Semitic the tsars were. From Nicholas I and his enforced 25 army sentences for Jewish boys to Alexander III forcing Jews out of Moscow and encouraging pogroms that forced so many to come to America in the 1880s. And his blessed successor, the executed Nicholas II? Same exact shit with encouraging and overlooking pogroms in 1905 and beyond. I am at the point of he story where I am impatiently waiting for him to be killed. And I am not that Kind of angry person! It boggles my modern mind that educated, intelligent, Westerners a mere hundred years ago were OK with murder and rape of the minority they hated. History just tends to repeat itself, doesn’t it?
The significance of a Jew writing this history isn’t lost on me. I’ve read several histories of the tsars and yet this feels like the first one where anti-Semitism isn’t given more than a two sentence address in hundreds of published pages.
I feel weird reading it at this point. I do. But the end is nigh so to it I go and take mental notes as I carry through.